Word Has It…

UPDATE:  The 2 lucky winners of the "you might play in Pittsburgh someday" prize are:  Hunter Strickland and Argenis Diaz, according to WEEI.com.

Diaz is a low-hit, excellent fielding shortstop at AA Portland and Strickland is a starter at Mid-A Greenville.

…that the Red Sox have acquired Adam LaRoche from the Pittsburgh Pirates.  LaRoche has power, mediocre OBP and plays firstbase…and DH.  I’ve heard be plays the DH position very well.

No word yet on who they are giving up, but LaRoche will afford them more power off the bench and probably means Mark Kotsay’s days are done here, no?  Also, with Kevin Youkilis’s versatility, expect to see Mike Lowell sitting more often.

LaRoche is a free agent after the season and is making approx. $7.5mm this year.

I’ll try to update when I can on the details.

I Can’t See Cashman Doing This

Here’s an amusing little story about the VP of Player Development for the Mets challenging the AA Mets to a fight.  At least he had the good sense to take his shirt off, you don’t want to ruin your shirt in a rumble. 

Tomko Is Gone

I would like to thank Brian Cashman for making the right move tonight and DFA’ing Brett Tomko to make room for Sergio Mitre.  I don’t know what Tomko had on Cashman, but I am glad it is over.  (Speaking of players who were kept in the bigs too long, did you see Berroa is now on the Mets?) 

Now I am having a problem with my 40-man math.  I had assumed the Yankees moved Nady to the 60-day DL when Hinske came aboard, but he is still listed on the 15-day DL.  I think that must be a mistake because either the Yankees only had 39 players on the 40-man before trading for Hinske or with tonight’s move they still only have 39 players on the 40-man.  If that is indeed the case, why are they keeping a spot open?

If anyone can help me out with this, please let me know.   

Tuesday Trivia

What was the last trade between the Red Sox and Yankees? 

Thanks to Andy for giving me the idea.   

UPDATE: The answer is that the Yankees acquired Mike Stanley and Randy Brown for Tony Armas, Jr. and Jim Mecir.  

Worth A Look

I watched HBO’s new documentary last night "Ted Williams" and I would encourage everyone to watch it.  It does a very good job of telling the story of Ted Williams and it doesn’t shy away from some of the "tough" topics like what happened to Ted after he died. 

Among the things I found interesting.

The relationship between Ted and Boston.  I always knew it was rocky, but I didn’t realize the extent of it or the fact that he was booed so viciously.  And, he did not react well to it at all.  You get the sense that if Ted Williams had played today he would have been run out of Boston.  Yet, time softened the divisions and Ted became loved in Boston which is well chronicled.  They even named a tunnel after him.  (On a side note, why didn’t they name it after Bill Russell? He would have been my choice or Bobby Orr)  Nomar talks about how special it was to be a part of Ted’s life.

I found the DiMaggio-Williams dynamic fascinating as well.  Not surprisingly, Joe was jealous of Ted and dismissed his accomplishments as "individual" efforts.  (On a side note, Ted and Joe really switched places after they stopped playing.  Williams became loved, DiMaggio has falled well out of favor as his true character has come to light.  Quick New Yorkers, what’s the official name of the highway down the westside of Manhattan?  Does anyone call it that?) 

Dan Shaughnessy gives a very moving talk about his daughters fight with cancer and how great Ted Williams was through all of it despite the fact that Dan was part of the press.  

The relationship Ted had with his kids, especially John Henry is very interesting stuff. 

All in all it is a very good documentary and I think fans of all teams will enjoy it.   

Back To Even

And so once again the Yankees and Red Sox are all tied up for the AL East lead.  For the Yankees, 55-37 marks the high point of the season so far and their best record in relation to games over .500 since the end of the 2007 season.

So, with 70 games to go it is a dead heat.  Based on the news tonight, I still think the Yankees need to trade for a starter for the back of the rotation.  If they do that, I like their chances to pull this out. 

Out Of The Mouths Of Babes….

Phil Hughes said this after today’s game:

"People think it’s easy. It’s not. We’re 23, we’re still learning. But I bet Joba remembers this game.” 

He’s dead on.  For all the back and forth we have about Joba and Hughes and other young players, it’s important to remember they are still just kids.  Sometimes that helps them, sometimes it hurts them, but hopefully they will learn and grow.  How good can Joba and Hughes be?  No one knows for sure, but today was another reminder of why you keep them around.   

Great weekend for the Yankees, exactly what you hoped to see coming out of the break.  Now they need to keep it going against Baltimore. 

Wrong Guy/Wrong Reason

The Yankees have decided to use Sergio Mitre in the rotation on Tuesday and with Wang only about to start throwing next week, he may be there awhile.  Alfredo Aceves will return to the rotation because Joe Girardi says "…we feel he is just too valuable to take him out of the bullpen right now."

Sigh, where to begin?  Well, let’s start with Mitre who did not pitch well in the National League and walked way too many batters.  Maybe the Yankees will get a Chacon or Small clone, but odds are they will simply get someone who can’t pitch in the AL.  

And the reason for Mitre over Aceves being that Aceves is too valuable in the bullpen makes me crazy.  Aceves is great in the pen, but he isn’t closing games or even the primary setup guy.  To me that makes it obvious you put him in the rotation and find another guy to pitch long relief.  But, the Yankees aren’t thinking that way and now we get to watch Mitre on Tuesday.

Pink Slip

Julio Lugo was designated for assignment today according to WEEI.  Being DFAed allows the Red Sox some time to work out a deal, although I really cannot expect any team to bite, after all, this was done for the purpose of opening up a roster spot.  Basically they said, we’ll spend $13mm to make a spot.

This allows Clay Buchholz to join the team Friday night and if Aaron Bates gets demoted, we can expect to see Mike Lowell back as well.

As for Jed Lowrie, well he might not be here until Saturday which brings up the question, who is the back up middle infielder tonight?

Not A Shocker

According to Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays have told the Yankees and Sox they "much prefer" to trade Halladay outside of the AL East. 

Can you really blame them?  Trading him is going to be tough enough on that franchise and its fans, having to face him 5 times a year would be awful.  Unless the Yankees or Sox agree to trade prospects and take on Vernon Wells’ contract, I don’t see a deal being made in the AL East.  Much, much more likely in my mind that he ends up in St. Louis or Philadelphia.  In many ways this is a replay of the Santana deal.  Boston and New York are probably both rooting for a trade to the NL.   

And, today means it is two weeks to the deadline.  Get your hot stoves ready.